Environmental Core holds rally for solar power use

first_imgThe USC Environmental Core, also known as E-Core, hosted a student rally advocating for the use of solar panels on campus Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. in Hahn Plaza.The event began with a speech from Keoki Kakigi, a first-year masters student in green technologies program and a leader in E-Core’s Go Solar campaign. Following this introduction, students assembled in Hahn Plaza and began chanting in support of solar power for USC. Phrases used by the group included “This is the hour for solar power!” and “Be bright! Use the light!” The rally concluded when Kakigi delivered a letter from E-Core to the office of President C. L. Max Nikias, as well as a list of signatures from students in support of the Go Solar campaign.The Environmental Core’s goal for the Go Solar initiative is that 10 percent of USC’s energy will come from solar power in the near future, according to its website. Ideal locations to install solar panels on campus include the Galen Center, which features the University’s largest roof area and the upcoming USC Village, whose roofs will already be solar ready in compliance with LEED standards when construction ends.With approximately 284 days of full sunlight in Los Angeles each year, E-Core sees the implementation of solar panels on campus as an easy decision, offering a means of saving money in the long term while bolstering USC’s commitment to sustainability and environmentalism with tangible efforts, which would also serve to enhance the University’s international reputation and appeal to incoming students.“Climate change is most imminent threat to the world, and we would love to see USC, which projects itself as a cutting-edge, world-class university solving the world’s biggest problems, do its part to help mitigate the biggest problem facing us today,” Kakigi said.In spite of these advantages, Kakigi said that the administration has noted several drawbacks to the plans advocated by the Go Solar campaign. A major concern of university officials is the aesthetic problems posed by the panels themselves, which many think would detract from the campus’s collegiate Gothic architectural style. Furthermore, the estimated five years it would take for the solar panels to pay for themselves is too long for many administrators, who have also found it difficult to attract donors for this project.Though Sustainability 2020 has stated its commitment to be more environmentally conscious willingness to consider solar power in the future, Kakigi said that many of the energy committee’s members are the same administrators who were opposed to the Go Solar campaign in the beginning, posing a potential obstacle for any substantial policy changes down the line.“We are not going to stand idle and hope that [administrators] change their minds,” Kakigi said. “Instead, we are going to try to be the change USC needs to install solar panels.”For many students, USC’s reluctance to participate in some environmental efforts is surprising, and they hope to see real progress being made to achieve sustainability goals moving forward.“The fact that none of our power comes from solar is kind of shocking to me,” said Woorin Lee, a freshman majoring in environmental science and health. “I think installing solar panels would also help to enhance our green image, especially considering recent global environmental movements in countries around the world. It’s a big issue, and we’re not taking part in it.”Ariel Marks, E-Core’s co-president, said he was pleased with the turnout they received for this rally and that he hopes to increase awareness about the Go Solar campaign on campus in the future.“We’re really trying to build student awareness and support,” Marks said. “Getting more students to support our cause is what will ultimately push this issue through administration.”last_img

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